This morning I got really, really annoyed with Last.fm.
I know its not their fault but, I really really wanted to listen to a particular song over and over while I had my coffee (as I’m occassionally known to do – this morning it was Human by The Killers). Obsessive yes, but darn it, it’s a catchy tune. I don’t actually own the song so just thought I’d listen on Last.fm.
Annoyingly, after listening 3 times, Last.fm told me I couldn’t listen anymore because I’d reached my limit! Now, if Last.fm was a free service, I might understand this but, I’m one of their paying customers. I’ve been subscribing for years to get access to all of their functionality – I thought.
Now, I know the real reason underlying this is music rights agreements – record labels just hate the idea of us listening to their music without buying a CD – but, common, I’ve already PAID for a subscription to this site (and have done for years). Why can’t I just use all the features? So I emailed them hoping to get an answer and provide them with ‘valueable user feedback.’
I can see no reason why I can’t listen to a streamed song over and over – even in the restrictive world of music rights. I can watch the video over and over (via legit and illegit copies) on YouTube and other services, so I suspect this is mainly Last.fm reserving the right to commercialise on this at some point and not completely rights related.
All I can say is that Karen Groenink’s point that ‘Digital Products are Rude‘ applies here as much to the product as to Last.fm’s customer service. Their response to me didn’t appolgise for my unhappiness or potential misunderstanding but gave me a snippy, legalistic response. When I replied saying I was annoyed becuase it just appeared that they changed the terms of what their subscription was AFTER I’d subscribed, they just suggested I cancel. Nice customer service.